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General News
Ports, Custom Checkpoints Need CCTV 3/31/2013

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo in the Ashanti region and ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance, has expressed serious concerns over massive leakages in revenue generation in the country.

He said if government were to be more watchful and alert and seal those revenue leakages, sanity would be restored to government expenditure.

Contributing to a motion on 2013 annual estimates for the Ministry of Finance on the floor of parliament on Thursday, Dr Akoto Osei said if the government could install closed circuit television (CCTV) at the various ports and all customs posts, revenue generation could increase by 30 percent. He said when CCTV are installed at such major revenue points, the pilfering will stop and those working there would do the right thing for the nation to rake in the required revenue for government’s spending.

On the Accountant-General’s Department which according to him spends so much of the taxpayers’ money, the MP for Old Tafo said the government must take a critical look at re-structuring the department and personnel who work there.

He wondered how a whole specialised department could have a workforce of about 4,000 and only 184 of them would be certified accountants.
“Mr. Speaker, this is unacceptable, we cannot expect the rest of the workforce who do not have any training and expertise in that area to do the right thing.”
According to him, it is better to halve the workforce and employ qualified people who would be paid well for them to do the right thing.

He said it was not surprising that people always hear of ghost names appearing on pay slips at the Accountant-General’s department.

He noted that the department was given GH¢30 million last year to spend and this year it has been given about GH¢34 million which is equivalent to $17 million, stressing that there should qualified people to manage it to avoid the situation whereby the money would be mismanaged or misappropriated.

He also advocated that personnel working with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) must be qualified people and also be paid well so that proper management would be expected of them.

He advised the ministry to be meticulous in the figures that it presents to parliament because over the past years there had been inconsistencies in the figures in the budget document they come out with.

“If the Ministry of Finance is having such inconsistency problems in terms of figures then all the other ministries, departments and agencies that the ministry has oversight responsibility in terms of management of public funds The Minister of Finance, Seth Terpker took the suggestions in good faith and said the ministry would ensure that the right thing is done.would be suffering”

Source: Thomas Fosu Jnr

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